The U.S. Small Business Administration has updated the list of industries eligible for federal contracts that set aside for the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) federal contracting program.
The SBA women-owned business adds more industries eligible for the federal contract program
The update comes after a recent study analyzing industry gaps for women-owned businesses found that women-owned businesses are under-represented or significantly under-represented in the federal marketplace. The updated list will now help organizations allocate set-sides for WOSB and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) across more industries.
WOSB program extension
The industries added to the list are part of the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS), where the number of industries eligible for the WOSB program has increased from 444 to 759. This is an increase of 70% since the changes took effect immediately.
There are now a wide range of industries for contract officers to give SBA-certified WOSBs and EDWOSB limited-competitive contracting opportunities. These include temporary assistance services, home health care services, electronic computer manufacturing and air transportation support.
Relief for American Women Entrepreneurs
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said: “President Biden came into office with a promise to put equity at the center of everything we do and advance reforms that open the door to opportunity and prosperity for every entrepreneur.
“The epidemic has disproportionately affected women entrepreneurs who have been challenged due to barriers to early access to financial relief and other issues including child care. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the Biden-Harris administration’s initiative, we’ve invested billions of dollars in helping women entrepreneurs. And we are committed to doing more. The new rule, which extends the WOSB program, will help capture more than a few million dollars more potential women from federal purchasing opportunities, covering 92% of all federal small-business contract costs.
“Small business ownership is an important way to build independence and wealth for generations, and this change will help clear the way for more women entrepreneurs and counteract decades of discrimination, inequality and under-investment that has long held American women entrepreneurs together.”
How to apply in WOSB program
If eligible, the SBA’s WOSB program allows women-owned businesses to compete for contracts under other socio-economic programs as well as for set-side federal agreements. To date, more than 4,800 women-owned small businesses have been certified by the SBA to participate in the WOSB program.
To apply for the certificate, first check the eligibility requirements and then follow the on-screen instructions in the WOSB section of the SBA website.